Top Stories of 2023

by | Dec 26, 2023

Above: Bob Houghtaling with several teens picking up trash for Earth Day last April.

At EG News, we have two ways of classifying “big” stories: there are the stories that people click on the most and there are the stories that are the most important to our town. This article lists the most clicked on stories for the year – a category that stretched from happenings on Main Street to coyotes to tragedies. Later this week we will share what we consider the most important stories of the year.

Here are the stories that got the most clicks of 2023, in ascending order:

Division Road Project Back on Track

This story (#10) was just one of more than a dozen stories we’ve written about this particular development and this March story wasn’t even that newsy, other than to let everyone know the project was back on after a several month hiatus. Over the subsequent months, there were several other stories detailing the Planning Board hearings and the board’s subsequent ruling, as well as the state’s over-ruling of the Planning Board’s decision. In the midst of this one saga, the General Assembly passed (and Gov. McKee signed into law) a raft of new laws making it easier to develop housing, potentially rendering this whole exercise moot. The new year could well see the developer resubmitting the same project. You can find all the stories about the Division Road proposal HERE.

Buzz on Business: Scotti’s Salumeria Opens

Readers of East Greenwich News love learning about new restaurants and this edition of Buzz on Business (#9) did not disappoint. Scotti’s opened where Huck’s had been. The EG dining scene remains robust.

Cole Teacher Being Investigated for ‘Inappropriate Behavior’

Stories like this one (#8) are always difficult. No one was arrested and no details were made public, which leaves a lot of conjecture and concern. We treat such stories very conservatively but expect to see a followup in coming days.

My Coyote Mistake

People really like reading about coyotes (#7)! I guess that’s because we are seeing them with increased frequency, even those of us who live in more “urban” parts of town. Contributor Anthony Burnett-Testa shared his own experience about the now all-to-common coyote: it is adaptable as can be and here to stay. 

Driver Dies After Head-On Crash Monday

Stories like this (#6) tend to rank high for the same reason we all crane our necks to see an accident on the side of the road as we drive by. In this case, however, it was the beloved original owner of Ed’s Roost, Edward Amoroso, 92, who lived in Potowomut. 

2023 Main Street Stroll Schedule

The strength of this story (#5) shows the strength of the Main Street Strolls, which take place on Main Street (of course) on the last Thursday of the month May through August. They have become a signature event known by people around the state, which is good news for local restaurant and shop owners. The EG Chamber of Commerce-sponsored events will be back in 2024!

Frenchtown Road Apartments to Add 63 Affordable Units

This one (#4) surprised me with its popularity but when I consider the acute housing shortage in the state I shouldn’t have been surprised. The project is located just west of the Route 4 Frenchtown Road overpass. Some readers asked how they could get on the waiting list; others said the building would be hard to get in and out of. Some just seemed unhappy with the idea of more people in town.

Buzz on Business: New Owner for Jiggers, Goodbye Revival, Farm-to-Table Cookbook

Restaurant news strikes again (#3), with both the closing of a beloved restaurant – Revival – and the new ownership of another beloved Main Street dining institution – Jiggers. Revival decided to consolidate, keeping its original location in Warren open. For Jiggers, new owner Christos Spyridis said he plans to keep a good thing going, with no big plans for changes. 

Police Log: Drunk, Armed & Driving

The police log is routinely among the most popular feature we share on EG News (there are two other police log posts in the top 20 stories). What made this particular edition so popular (#2) may have been the headline. It’s also that it was posted in February. Posts like these can have a long tail and this one had 9+ months to gain clicks. 

Town Fixture Bob Houghtaling Dies Unexpectedly

This was by far the biggest story (#1) of the year for EG News, and one of the saddest of our time in business. Bob Houghtaling worked for the town for 40 years. Yet, even with that long track record, he remained as excited and in love with his work (“I have the best job on Planet Earth,” he would often say) in his 40th year as he’d been in the first few years. He is missed.

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